The Astoundingly Complete & Dedicated Prepper Slang Dictionary

The purpose of the complete prepper slang dictionary is to provide the most comprehensive list to refer to.

Whether you are an expert in prepping or just new to this community it is very likely you will come across some of these terms.

For the most part, every niche topic you can find has its own set of words only people in the community know.

The purpose of this article is to give you the full and complete prepper slang and the meaning in one website and in one article.

Prepper Or Preppers Defined

Is a person or group of people that are forward thinking of possible survival or emergency situations.

In these scenarios, they are taking responsibility for themselves to prepare the things they will need without assistance from the government agencies.

Which if you know the history of Katrina Hurricane and listen to any of the stories government agencies lack the resources to help everyone in need when they need the help.

As a result, they collect and purchase the things that they will personally need or the group will need during these survival or emergency situations.

Synonyms For Preppers

The word “prepper” has handfuls of other words people use and replace the word with.

Below are some of the other words that mean the same thing

  • Survivalist
  • Doomsday prepper
  • Apocalypse preppers
  • Dommers

The Complete Prepper Slangs Defined

Below we have listed common slang that may not be widely known by everyone especially if you are just starting out in the prepping or survival journey.

72 Hour Survival Kit

These are usually premade kits designed for one to two people to survive a 72-hour survival or emergency situation.

These types of kits can be considered Bug Out Bags or BOBs

See below for defining in more detail.

These types of kits are widely available all the way tp a 5 day kit.

Accidental Discharge or “AD”

This is referring to someone inadvertently discharging their firearm.

This usually happens when someone does not have good trigger discipline.

Alpha Strategy

This is a term used that describes the collection of perishable products or fine metals, firearm ammunition or anything else that could become more valuable when inflation hits.

An example of this in recent history that I can think of was when Obama was the president and was treating to ban high capacity magazines for Ar-15s

During this time a standard magazine price was around $11-$12 bucks people had stocked piled so many they were selling them on eBay for hundreds of dollars because there was no stock available in any store.

AR-15 or “Black Rifle”

Soldiers with M4 rifles
Soldiers with M4 rifles

This is a semi-automatic rifle similar to the M-4 rifles used in the military or by police.

This is one of the most popular rifles for its abilities to be completely customized for the user.

Most importantly, ammunition is widely available because it is used by the military, police, and civilians all over the United States.

Ballistic Wampum

Bulk ammo for bartering
Bulk ammo for bartering

This is a term used when storing ammunition for the purposes of using it and more importantly in bartering with people who need or did not store enough.

Bugging Out

Put simply, this means leaving a place you think is unsafe or unfit to go to a location that is more suitable for survival situations.

This could also mean leaving a place due to unfit environmental conditions like a forest fire or natural disaster such as a hurricane.

Bugging In

This is the exact opposite of bugging out we talked about above.

In this situation you find that staying in your current location more beneficial than leaving the location.

Reasons for this could be roads being blocked by protestors or rioters to environmental conditions not allowing for safe travel.

Bug Out Bag or “BOB”

Guy with bug out bag
Guy with bug out bag

These are bags premade in advance that make it easier to grab and leave your current location.

Other terms can include go bag.

These kits need to be tailored to you and your situations.

Bug Out Bags will likely contain:

  • Meals ready to eat
  • Protein bars
  • Fire starters
  • First aid kit
  • Water and water filters
  • Maps
  • Cash
  • Firearms with ammo
  • Sleeping bags
  • Emergency medicine
  • Shelter in form of tent, poncho, tarp
  • Clothing
  • Fishing kit with snares for trapping

No two bug out bags from different people will likely be the same.

If you would like more details on this you can see our military survival kits.

Bug Out Location or “BOL”

This is similar to setting up a determined location to meet outside your house or business in case of a fire.

A bug out location or BOL is a predetermined place that all members of your group will meet at or goto if a emergency or survival situation was to happen.

Bug Out Vehicle or “BOV”

Example of a Bug out vehicle
Bug out vehicle

These are vehicles prepared beforehand for these types of situations.

These can be vehicles you drive daily or something like a pull-behind camper that already have things you will need in them.

These can obviously hold more than your bug out backpack and should have everything you think you will need when encountering different situations.

Carrington Event / Solar Flare / CME

All these listed above are natural events that could happen that disrupt electronics and render them useless.

Carrington event was a powerful geomagnetic storm on September 1–2, 1859, during solar cycle 10.

A solar coronal mass ejection hit Earth’s magnetosphere and induced the largest geomagnetic storm on record. (source)

These are all events of a natural EMP like event.

Chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear defense or “CBRN”

These are protective measure to avoid or mitigate the exposure to any of these types of attacks that come from chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear attacks.

Conceal Carry Weapon or “CCW”

Conceal Carry Weapon
Conceal Carry Weapon

These is a weapon that is concealed.

Most commonly used referring to a firearm but can be other weapons and self defence tools as well.

Combat Application Tourniquet or “CAT”

CAT Tourniquet
CAT Tourniquet

These are an essential piece of equipment and is a true one-handed tourniquet proven to be 100% effective by the U.S. Army’s Institute of Surgical Research.

These are tested and proven to completely occlude blood flow of an extremity in the event of a traumatic wound with significant hemorrhage.

Click here to see a CAT from one of the best companies on the market.

Electromagnetic pulse or “EMP”

Sometimes called a transient electromagnetic disturbance is a short burst of electromagnetic energy.

This can be done either at low or high altitude.

You may hear someone referring to high altitude EMP as “HEMP”

Such a pulse’s origin may be a natural occurrence or man-made and can occur as a radiated, electric, or magnetic field or a conducted electric current, depending on the source.

EMP interference is generally disruptive or damaging to electronic equipment, and at higher energy levels a powerful EMP event such as a lightning strike can damage physical objects such as buildings and aircraft structures. (source)

There are companies like EMP Shield that provide products to protect your home and vehicles from these types of events.

Extinction Level Event or “ELE”

Another end of the world term used by preppers and survivalist.

Same as

End Of The World or “EOTW”

End of the world.

A situation that will likely render your livelihood never to be the same again.

Every Day Carry or “EDC”

EDC sorted in tray

Put simply, EDC or everyday carry items are exactly the items you carry every single day no questions asked.

These items may include:

  • Knife
  • Pistol with extra mag/mags
  • Keys
  • Wallet
  • CAT (see cat above)

Faraday Cage

These are metallic enclosures designed to protect your electronics from an electromagnetic pulse by blocking electromagnetic fields from reaching it.

These can actually be built or bought from companies to protect laptops, cell phones, or other electronic devices.

Food Insurance

This is term used by preppers and survivalist when prepping food.

The thought by most who takes part in preparing look at it as extra insurance for themselves and their family or prepping group

First In, First Out of “FIFO”

This term is usually used in warehouse terminology but finds a home in the prepping and survival world.

This is a technique used for making sure you use your oldest stock before using your newest stock.

For example, when buying canned food you use the canned food you already have before using your new canned foods.

This will always insure you are rotating stock and using older stuff first.

Gamma Seal Lid

This is a type of lid that is a two piece sealing system that allows you to transform a standard bucket or pail into an easy to use air tight container for food prepping.

“Get-Home” Bag

This is usually a smaller lightweight bag you keep in your car to help you get home.

At a minimum it should help provide you with

  • Water
  • Snacks
  • A change of clothing
  • First aid kit

You should have items that would make it more comfortable to sleep if you end up on the floor somewhere for a night or two.

Generator or “Genny”

Generators used for off grid preppers not connected to city or state utilities.

You can find solar and fuel use generators to power your bug out or bug in location.

Genetically Modified Organism or “GMO”

Any organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques.

The exact definition of a genetically modified organism and what constitutes genetic engineering varies, with the most common being an organism altered in a way that “does not occur naturally by mating and/or natural recombination. (source)

Some people consider this as walking a fine line when it comes to food and what could be done to wipe it out using these kinds of techniques.

“Ham Radio” or Amateur radio

The use of the radio frequency spectrum for purposes of non-commercial exchanging of messages, wireless experimentation, self-training, private recreation, radiosport, contesting, and emergency communication.

You have to have a license to operate these radios but it is an alternative to exchanging communications between people using radio frequency instead of cell phones.

Individual First Aid Kit or “IFAK”

This is a first aid kit comprised of things for one individual so they have the things they need on them.

These kits can be kept in your bug out bag or on your belt.

I’m never coming home or “INCH”

This is a code that can be given either through phone communication or ham radio communication to let your family or group know that something went terribly wrong.

Just In Case or “JIC”

This is a term used by preppers to say they are doing or packing something just in case.

For example, having a spare tire is just in case you need it.

“Junk” Silver

Is silver 1965 or earlier mint date circulated U.S. silver dimes, quarters, or half dollars with little or no numismatic value.

These coins have a silver content of 90% but have been circulated so much they are considered “junk” to collectors.


Larder for food storage

A larder is a cool area for storing food prior to use. This is a term used more recently as a room in a basement or a cupboard for storing food preps.

Originally, it was where raw meat was larded—covered in fat—to be preserved. (Source)

Mutual Aid Group or “M.A.G”

In most prepper communities you form a small neat group of people and offer mutual aid to them in return for their survival or emergency situations.

For example, this could be anything from offering ideas or solutions for problems within the group to mentoring others in what you know about prepping and survival.

An example would be showing your neighbor’s how to shoot and operate firearms safely or showing them how to build fires or prep food.

Main Battle Rifle

This is a personal preference of what a particular person might prefer as their goto rifle in prepping or emergency situations.

For example, some people like bolt action rifles some people prefer an Ar-15.

Meal Ready To Eat or “MRE”


MREs are individual rations.

Self-contained in lightweight packaging.

These can be warmed without a fire or stove.

These were originally designed for the United States Military but now about every prepping or survival company offers some form of meals ready to eat on their websites.


Some of the best multi-tools are some that have a pretty decent selection of tools all on one tool.

For example the SOG multi-tool offers the below tools all on one tool

  • Grippers
  • Pliers
  • Soft wire cutter
  • Protractor
  • Inch ruler
  • Serrated blade
  • Saw
  • Assisted blade
  • Chisel
  • Awl
  • 1/4″ driver
  • Magnetic bit holder
  • Wire crimper
  • Assisted hook cutter
  • Jewelry driver
  • Bottle opener
  • Flat screwdriver (large)
  • Phillips screwdriver #2
  • Can opener
  • Flat screwdriver (small)
  • Millimeter ruler

Mylar Bags

These create a barrier between your food and the environment.

Used to line food grade buckets.

Necessary oxygen absorbers allow your food investment to be stored in the best condition. (source)

Operational Security or “OPSEC”

This is a huge topic that can certainly be an article by itself.

Put simply this is making sure your enemy or the potential enemy does not have all the puzzle pieces to your puzzle and can not obtain them.

This is why you use the cover of darkness when moving, this is why people use encryption when emailing or sending messages.

Doing anything in the hope of preventing potential enemies or unfriendlies from seeing the larger picture of what you are doing or how you are doing it is OPSEC.

Prepare aka “Prep” or “Preps”

Doing anything ahead of a potential environmental or survival situation is calling prep or prepping.


A prepared individual, a survivalist, is usually doing things for yourself to be more self-reliant.

Even though even the smallest of preps is still considering prepping most people would not consider themselves “preppers”.

Peak Oil

Oil Production
Oil Production

This is the point of production where it hits the maximum point and protection starts an irreversible decline in production.

“Oil forecasters” do claim that this could happen within the next 20 years.

Personal Emergency Relocation Kit or “P.E.R.K”

This can be a larger duffle bag that has literally everything you would need to relocate to another location.

Typically these are larger with more items than your typically 72-hour kits or a smaller bug out bag.

Rendezvous Point

This can be another word for bug out location.

This is referring to a place for everyone in your family or group to meet in case of emergency situations.

Rule Of 3

This is a good rule of thumb in survival.

You can live three minutes without breathable air (unconsciousness) generally with protection or in icy water.

Survive three hours in a harsh environment (extreme heat or cold).

You can survive for three days without drinkable water.

Shit Hits The Fan or “SHTF”

This means that some kind of terrible catastrophic event has happened either a natural disaster, financial collapse, or terrorist attack.

Shit Out Of Luck or “SOL”

When luck is not on your side you might be SOL.

Solar Oven

A solar oven is something you can use to cook food harnessing the power of the sun.

Made from something reflective.

Survival Cache

A survival cache is usually a secret hiding place for valuable, or items that you would need in an emergency situation.

There are a few reasons why you would want to have survival caches.

This is kept separate from the main survival prepping goods and products.

If stock gets found or stolen have a backup away.

The End of the World as We Know it or “TEOTWAWKI”

Meaning the world or life as we know it will never be the same.

Without Rule of Law or “WROL”

A time when police, military, etc have lost control. A lawless situation in other terms is martial law.

Martial law is when the military and government will suspend or stop ordinary laws enforced by normal law enforcement.

At this point, the military commander of an area or country has unlimited authority to make and enforce laws.

You’re On Your Own or “YOYO

This term is used for anyone in a survival situation alone.

This can also be referred to by preppers talking to someone who does not prep and thinks the government will be there to help them.

If you are YOYO refer back to SOL

Zombie or “Not Woke”

The name for the unprepared and often aggressive masses who will want to take what you have or believe the government will help them when things go really wrong.

Usually, preppers will be called crazy or looneys because most people don’t understand how fragile our infrastructure actually is or how easy things can go wrong.

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